Tide Hop, April Fool's Day: A look at April Fool's CWs from the '70s

Tide Hop, April Fool's Day: A look at April Fool's CWs from the '70s

Photo Illustration / Kylie Cowden

Rebecca Rakowitz

Though the country is in a fake news frenzy, and though media outlets are doing their best to keep their content as accurate as possible, there is one day of the year when all of that is thrown out the window: April Fool’s Day. It is a day when media outlets can let their hair down and write what they want – giving you, the reader, the responsibility to decide if this “news” is just an April Fool’s Day prank. 

The Crimson White used to publish an edition full of fake campus news on April Fool’s Day, and with April 1 just around the corner, we take pause to look back at two of the strongest such editions. Though not falling quite on April Fool’s Day, the March 26, 1973, and March 28, 1974, editions of the CW have some great fake news.

1973 stories:

Published on the wrong day:  The back page of the 1973 edition had a disclaimer explaining why the April Fool’s edition was printed six days early.

“Seeing how there is no calendar in our office, no one seemed to know what day April Fools fell on this year,” the disclaimer read.

The staff of the CW decided to put together the edition early in an effort to not miss the holiday and went on to concede that it wasn’t a bad decision since nothing happened on campus that week.

“If you have information which would be helpful to us in discovering when April Fool’s Day is or actually know the date, please mail it to the Newsprint Spring Home for Wayward and Unemployed Journalists,” the disclaimer said, “because that’s where most of us will be after the Board of Publications sees this garbage.”

Small columns: The editorial page in the 1973 edition was blank, save for a small architectural column with an asterisk in the middle of the page.

The asterisk led to a small note in the bottom right corner which read as follows:

“For all those people who just wanted a ‘small column’ on the editorial page all year.”

Zionist SGA: Referencing a supposedly overwhelmingly Jewish executive branch, the CW ran a front page article headlined, “SGA conspiracy uncovered – Zionist plot total takeover.”

The article alleged that branches of the SGA were working to divert SGA funds to Jews in Governmental Services (JIGS).

Reports claimed that extra SGA funds went toward printing the student directories on kosher paper and that a rabbi was appointed to the Senate instead of the usual parliamentarian.

“Instead of having a parliamentarian look up points in Roberts’ Rules of Orders we can ask the Rabbi for divine guidance from the all-powerful one,” a senator told the CW.

An amendment to the SGA code of laws was also introduced which would require any student seeking government office to be Jewish or pledge to move into the Jewish Community Center.

“Only a Communist or resident of Mallet Hall could conceivably oppose this bill,” said Sen. Sid Orenstein, an alleged veteran of the Six-Day War between the ZBTs and the Baptist Student Center.

Theta Nu Epsilon Sen. Bill Blunt felt differently.

“We gave those JIGS $2.50 last year for kosher chitterlings,” Blunt said. “…Is there no limit to what they will ask for next?”

A final aspect of the Zionist conspiracy was the supposed Jewish stacking of the SGA Budget Committee. Secretary-treasurer Trasha Segar found that absurd.

“Stacked? Oy vey! We appointed a very representative group,” Segar said. “There were Jews from both north and south Alabama, one from New York City and two personal representatives of [Israel’s prime minister].”

1974 stories: The following were published in “The Crimson: Weo, April Fool’s Paper Waster,” published upside down on the last five pages of the regular edition.

Some people like the CW: Amidst a slew of criticism, the CW published “Lassie unhesitatingly endorsed the C-W,” an article highlighting their supporters.

“Cats and dogs across the nation find our high-quality stock best for litter box use,” the article said. “Lassie says, ‘I find the soft absorbent nature of the copy most suitable for everyday defecation. Woof woof.’”

According to the article, the support doesn’t stop there – even some humans like the paper! According to the article, porn star Linda Lovelace, university President David Matthews, and the “original streaker,” Joe Show, all support the CW.

“[Joe Show] used a C-W to cover his manly hood when apprehended by police for indecent exposure,” the piece said.

The “Tuscaloosa Dope Smokers Incorporated” even endorsed the paper, saying it is the slowest burning paper in town.

Nudie Week:  A nod at the previous week’s “Sex Week,” the CW wrote an article announcing the University Program Council’s plans to hold a “Nudie Week.”

The week was to include educational and entertainment-type programming revolving around the subject of nudity. While the UPC originally had a hard time convincing administration to support the week, they negotiated and eventually “decided to work it out tit for tat.”

The week was an attempt to move the UPC’s programming from the nationwide press coverage it got for Sex Week to worldwide coverage. It would include programming on G-strings, x-rated film, and a dialogue with a nudist Methodist minister and a nudist comedian.

“We feel that should be a very important program,” a UPC source told the CW. “Actually it’s just so we can get all that other degenerate stuff on campus and pass it off as educational. Uh…you’re not writing that down, are you?”

To make up for last week’s hiatus, and to give more context to the Nudie Week fake story, the following is a bonus Tide Hop story from March 4, 1974.

Linda Lovelace:  The University’s Program Council – the University Programs of the ’70s – was planning a “Sex Week” for university students. The week included a plethora of sex-related programming, but the most anticipated program was the appearance of porn star Linda Lovelace. Lovelace was set to be a “door prize” during the week.

“A date with the star of Deep Throat and Deep Throat II will be awarded to a student drawn at random.” A caption under a photo of Lovelace said, “Zoweee!”